Fridays Squared is a great concept

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I was excited to learn that the Cassville Area Chamber of Commerce has taken the lead in creating an event aimed at attracting people to the downtown square after hours. Still in its planning stages, Friday Squared will be held on the second Friday night during July and August.

A committee has been meeting for the past several months to brainstorm and plan the new offering, which is sure to enhance the downtown area and Cassville's business climate as a whole. Having one night a week when business hours are extended into the evening makes sense, especially in a world where busy work days preclude an individual's ability to shop during the regular 9 to 5 business hours.

Friday Squared will also incorporate entertainment, the arts and food vendors to enhance the atmosphere of downtown and give people even more incentive to spend a portion of their Friday nights in Cassville. I don't know all the specifics yet, but the Cassville Democrat fully supports this endeavor and will keep our readers informed on details of the upcoming Friday Squared events.

A similar concept has been launched in Monett over the past several months to lots of success. Broadway Nights is held the second Friday of every month, and with each passing month, more and more people are frequenting the downtown business district. The effort began with just a handful of businesses participating and has grown to include a large majority of the downtown merchants as they have seen the foot traffic the event brings into their stores. Businesses offer special sales and in-store entertainment to coincide with the monthly effort. The organizers have also hosted an art show, outdoor musical entertainment, a carnival and a car show in conjunction with Broadway Nights.

I was encouraged to see the success Monett has had with the concept, and I'm excited to see a similar event happen in Cassville. It's important to look for new and exciting ways to promote the community and local business, and it's always been my opinion that if you're not doing that, you're losing ground to more enterprising cities.

The first Friday Squared event has been slated for Friday, July 9. Retail businesses will be open from 7 to 9 p.m. on that night for what is being billed as a "Pre-Show Block Party." At 9 p.m., a family friendly movie will be shown outside. Sounds like a fun night to me, and I've already got it marked on my calendar. Why don't you do the same?

It's not to late to get involved in Friday Squared, The more businesses and individuals that get involved, the better the event will be. For more information, contact Mindi Artherton, chamber executive director, at chamber@cassville.com.

Lisa Schlichtman